Today I took Lora to her new ballet school for a class and met two homeschooling mothers in the area. One homeschools with Christian curriculum and the other mother uses a curriculum that provides everything she needs for teaching her children. Though we each homeschool differently, we each had in common what sometimes feels like an underground club of mothers who have chosen to teach our kids outside of what is “normal”. When you’re a homeschooling mom, you certainly do seem to stick out a little. Lora will sometimes get questions from kind well meaning people about school and when I tell them we homeschool, the usual response is a small moment of silence followed by “ooooh”.
Being a homeschooling mom does sometimes feel like I’m part of a unique parenting group, but sometimes not being a public/private/coop schooling mom means I’m not in the “in crowd” (aka mainstream). I can’t participate in the conversations at the market with local parents I run into about that class or this event or that game since my kid is not part of all that. And my kid doesn’t know all the other kids at the park during the summer months (in winter months they are in school) because she doesn’t go to school with them. So, homechooling means that I need to find my tribe so that my kid gets all the benefits of social interaction.
So, I connect with local homeschooling groups which are very small in comparison to attending a public/private/coop school but create a sense of community for homeschooling parents. And since there are various ones in my area, I choose ones that fit me most. I join them in conversation and events. I get to then talk about common interests and things the kids are doing and our journey as homeschooling mothers. And my kid then finds her group of friends as well. We find our tribe.
Because of how small these tribes can be, it doesn’t take long to make friendships with other mothers I meet that homeschool. Right away we have an instant connection. We’re following a path that is different than the norm. If you’re a homeschooling mom or thinking of being, I encourage you to also find your tribe locally.